February 20, 2013


No good news for anyone last night.

ABC:  It was never clear why ABC renewed BODY OF PROOF, which had marginal ratings last season (reportedly foreign sales played a part, as the network’s in-house studio produces the show), but last night’s season premiere certainly didn’t justify the decision.  Despite very little competition on the other networks, Proof had a dim 1.2, down 0.7 from last year’s finale.  Prior to that, THE TASTE edged up 0.1 to 1.6, and THE BACHELOR fell the same amount to 2.6.

CW:  Viewers are clearly getting their fill of serial killing from The Following, because CULT debuted with an already-dead 0.3.  That’s even worse than the canceled Emily Owens MD was doing in that slot.  HART OF DIXIE remained mired in mediocrity with 0.5, down 0.1 from last week.

NBC:  The curtain is swiftly ringing down on SMASH, which aired another dumb episode last night (the best bit may have been when director Derek darkly warned his The Wiz star that her producer was about to see his most non-PG musical number, then presented a Marilyn/JFK seduction the Disney Channel wouldn’t have blinked at airing), and fell to a disastrous 0.9 in the ratings.  The upside:  it’s hard to imagine Parenthood not coming back now, since it doubled that rating in the same slot.  (Downside:  an end to brilliant Vulture recaps.)  The rest of the night was equally depressing:  a 1.3/1.4 hour of OFF THEIR ROCKERS (each down 0.1), followed by horrible scores of 1.1 for GO ON (down 0.2) and 1.0 for THE NEW NORMAL (down 0.1).  Can the return of The Voice in a month really turn those sitcoms back around?  And even if it does, how could NBC renew either of them in any slot that doesn’t have Voice as a lead-in?

FOX:  Declining numbers here too.  RAISING HOPE fell a tick to 1.5, then after a 1.3 NEW GIRL rerun, a fresh episode was at 2.2, off a hefty 0.4 from its last airing, and THE MINDY PROJECT managed a 1.6, down 0.3.

CBS:  Someone had to win last night, and it was CBS, but even it had nothing to crow about.  NCIS, at 3.5, was down 0.2; NCIS LA fell 0.4 to 2.7; and VEGAS was steady at 1.5 even against the weakest of competition.

Everything is new on the networks tonight, the only special event being a 20/20 pre-Oscar show hosted by Katie Couric that’s subbing for the traditional Barbara Walters special due to Walters’ recent health issues.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."